Regional Specialists Review March 2016
The key drivers of gloom earlier in 2016, as well as more recent enthusiasm, have been oil, China and U.S. Fed policy.
Commodities news has improved materially from a few short weeks ago. OPEC and Russia seem to be moving toward a saner oil production level, even as Iran may be allowed to increase its exports. That's helped oil prices recover, reducing stresses the world over. So, too, has the perceived risk surrounding China, as its leadership increasingly seems able to engineer a gradual slowdown in growth.
The Federal Reserve also just disclosed a shift toward greater caution, so rates may not rise as fast as previously hinted.
And yet, profits aren't exactly stellar. Will they remain under pressure or will the extraordinary drop in oil and other commodity prices of the last 1-2 years ignite a re-acceleration? Truly the question for our times.